And now for our regular primer on global economics, no student loan required. Remember the European economic crisis? Just months ago, there was near panic that the euro zone would collapse, bringing down with it the entire international economy, again. So, how is Europe doing now and what is the overall state of the global economy? Well, one place economists look for answers to those questions is in the exchange rate between dollars and euros.
U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement aimed at generating billions of dollars of new trade. But negotiators must overcome barriers created by cultural and philosophical differences over sectors like agriculture. In Europe, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned, while in the U.S., they are a central part of food production. NPR's Jackie Northam visited a farm in Delaware and NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited one in Burgundy, France, to look at those deep-seated differences. We hear from Jackie first.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is hearing from European allies who are upset with recent reports that the U.S. has spied on its friends. The European Union's top diplomat asked Kerry about the reports at a security conference Monday. Other officials say the case could derail talks on free trade.
"Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the U.S. spied on EU representations in Washington and New York," Germany's Der Spiegel writes. "Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement."
Now, as we've been reporting elsewhere in the program, President Obama is in Europe this week for the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland. On Tuesday, he heads to Germany to meet with German chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany is the EU's powerhouse. Its economic success has given the country political power, in part, because it's the region's biggest lender.